A survival guide to traffic
by: Fatima Mathivha - 22 May 2015
Living in a metropolis certainly has its perks – think about tarred roads, inspiring architecture, opulent nightlife and hipsters. But what you really find at the end of that highway is not just a pot of gold – think about e-Tolls, loadshedding, pickpockets and, well, hipsters. If you’re not resilient the concrete jungle will certainly swallow you up but the urban dweller is a pretty resilient creature. There’s just one final frontier that is yet to be conquered – traffic. The metropolitan experience is incomplete without the smell of burnt clutches, cars queued bumper to bumper, huffing and puffing, clenched jaws and dangerously high blood pressure. Where’s your K53 now, huh?
Here’s some words from a fellow road rager on how to survive traffic.
1. Audio therapy
Music is pretty cool, it unites people and saves the world and all that good stuff but what’s even cooler is when a certain song takes you back to that night you got scooped up by a friend’s friend in an Uber van and headed to the club with Okmalumkoolkat, you know how that sh*t goes. Likewise, music is pretty much the only cherry on the morning-traffic-jam cake. Whilst idling your golden petrol away turn on some Drake and think of better days when you weren’t running late, just running through the six. See what I did there?
Ok, ok! I know your relationship is a little strained but truth be told these guys know back routes like the palm of their hands. But careful now, in a sea of taxis it’s probably going to matter which taxi you follow. Keep an eye out for hand signs from commuters and taxi drivers as well as the Taxi Association bumper stickers – these help indicate which direction the taxi is heading so you can discreetly follow the right one. Also, be careful not to drive too close because they stop anywhere and at anytime.
Not sure if you’re following a taxi? If it’s white, has wheels and a Zulu driver, it most probably is a taxi.
I know, the yellow line looks like the great divide between you and greener pastures but careful now! #Lawlessness is a common hashtag on Eye Witness News’ Twitter in the mornings. Compliant, lawful drivers take pictures of law-breaking drivers and immortalise it on the interwebs, number plate and all. Not a good look. This is one of the only times in life when the snitches don’t end up in ditches. Now you’ve got a little more incentive to stay out of the emergency lane. Well, other than the fact that it’s for life-saving emergency response vehicles. Avoid all the negative karmic energy by staying in your lane and ensuring everyone’s safety . Remember what Sam Smith says, you’re not the only one.
Gone are the days when the petrol price was going down and there were promises of the e-Tolls going down with them. The gantries are still purple-bright and we’re embarrassed to pour R50 petrol. Being locked out the house with nowhere to rest my spinning head at 4am taught me one thing – you can get through a lot with a friend by your side. Start a lift club, split the fare and spend those extra pennies on nights you won’t remember with people you won’t forget.
There’s only so many taxis and BMWs that can cut you off before it starts to change the fabric of your driving alter ego. It won’t be long before you’re screaming at the top of your lungs or worse, rolling down your window to pull a zap. Take it from us, none of these tactics will ever move that stationary truck 1km up the highway. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and your window rolled all the way up.
Save yourself from counting down the minutes to lunch time because you didn’t eat in the morning rush. It might not be a full English breakfast but a banana and last night’s chicken drumstick go a long way. Trust! Nothing is off limits. Don’t worry about the judging faces, your colleagues will thank you later.
These streets are cold but with a drumstick in hand it seems a little more bearable. Here’s to taking back the tarmac. “Jesus take the wheel!”.